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WGD: GAME 2: Red Wings @ Kings

Not a much better way to start your season than to get some of the dreaded California roadtrip out of the way. Starting today, the Wings will be playing the Ducks and Kings back-to-back.

Although these two teams aren’t as deadly now as they once were, they will still certainly run you down without a second thought. The key here will be for the Wings to play their speed game and not get trapped into the slow and grinding game of the Kings.

Also, to not take so many damn penalties.

Penalties will be the Wings’ undoing this season

The Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

The Red Wings have the necessary speed to blow past any of the Kings players. Larkin and Athanasiou are your top-six centerman and they hope to stay that way. Athanasiou has played much better down the middle of the ice in year’s past. He looks poised and ready to become the player he was once hyped-up to be.

There is certainly a scoring option on every forward line for this upcoming game. Although Helm will need to regain his confidence, both Tyler Bertuzzi and Michael Rasmussen can put the puck in the net.

Hopefully, the Wings will not be on the PK for half of the game and both of those wingers will get more icetime than the older vets on the team.

On the blueline there has been a little bit of a shakeup. Joe Hicketts is no longer in the lineup and Nick Jensen will take his place within the six instead. Dennis Cholowski played a massively impressive game on Thursday night, so he will look to having another offensive outburst tonight against the Kings.

Filip Hronek moves up the lineup to be partnered with Danny DeKeyser, other than on the powerplay, Hronek was not given a lot of offensive opportunities last game. Maybe there will be slightly more, now that he is in the top-4.

The Kings

LW C RW
Alex Iafallo
ALEX IAFALLO
Anze Kopitar
ANZE KOPITAR
Ilya Kovalchuk
ILYA KOVALCHUK
Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON
Jeff Carter
JEFF CARTER
Tyler Toffoli
TYLER TOFFOLI
Austin Wagner
AUSTIN WAGNER
Adrian Kempe
ADRIAN KEMPE
Trevor Lewis
TREVOR LEWIS
Kyle Clifford
KYLE CLIFFORD
Mike Amadio
MIKE AMADIO
Nate Thompson
NATE THOMPSON
LD RD
Derek Forbort
DEREK FORBORT
Drew Doughty
DREW DOUGHTY
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN
Alec Martinez
ALEC MARTINEZ
Dion Phaneuf
DION PHANEUF
Oscar Fantenberg
OSCAR FANTENBERG

The Kings have been playing the will-they-won’t-they game with finally being a bottom-feeding team for years since they won the Cup. As with most Cup-winning teams, they have a solid core of veterans surrounded by an array of young players they drafted throughout their winning years.

Kopitar, Carter, and Doughty will always be the front-line players for the Kings, but young guns like Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, and Mike Amadio, might jumpstart this team into becoming a modern-day Cup contender again. But probably not.

They also have guaranteed Hall-of-Famer Ilya Kovalchuk on the wing, so that’s a nice luxury to have when you’re a team that might squeak into the playoffs.

On a blueline headlined by Drew Doughty, there is not much to talk about. They are very solid and will always be able to slow the game down to their tempo so that their goaltenders can make the easy save. Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez have won multiple cups with this team now and will be mainstay top-4 defencemen here until they don’t want to anymore.

Between the Pipes

Jimmy Howard vs. Jack Campbell

Jimmy Howard played an extremely solid game against the Blue Jackets on thursday night. He was able to stop 36 of the 39 shots on goal and came out of that game with his head held high. When the Blue Jackets had so many opportunities on the powerplay, Howard was able to keep composed and play well enough to not be completely blown out.

Amid the controversy of where he will be playing his hockey next year, Howard still plays well for the only team he has known.

Per the Kings, Jonathan Quick is day-to-day with an injury, so Jack Campbell will most likely be the starter for tonight’s game.

Campbell spent most of last season with the Ontario Reign in the AHL, having a .912 sv%. Tonight (if he starts) will be his first NHL start since March of last year. It will also be only Campbell’s fifth-ever NHL start. Let’s hope the Red Wings forwards have a field day with this under-experienced NHL goaltender.

How to Watch

Puck drop is at 10:30 p.m. EST at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The game will be on Fox Sports-Detroit and Fox Sports-West.

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